Bemis School of Art works to create strong community relationships inside and outside the walls of the Fine Arts Center. It is through Bemis's close ties to local schools that Eagleview Middle School invited Bemis and FAC staff to bring Arts Day to middle school students on Fri. Jan 21, 2011.
FAC staff showed up in force. Bemis staff and guest instructors Anne Roe, Lance Green, Kristin Byrd and Gabriella Christians joined Curatorial Assistant Joy Armstrong and FAC Docents, plus theatre instructors Max Ferguson and Leslie Aldridge.
FAC Docent Norm Renaud said the middle schoolers spent the entire day engaged in the variety of art activities that enhanced their regular curriculum. "Through experiences in acting, dance, hands-on artifacts, painting, costume design, curating, and more, they learned of new worlds outside of their textbooks and daily schoolwork," he added.
The entire middle school student body and faculty joined in the activities. Projects ranged from a geometric Mandala/Quilt project, to self-portrait paintings, relief print projects, drama exercises, and curatorial visual art projects.
FAC museum staffer Joy Armstrong worked with the youth to encourage them to think like museum curators. Teams selected works of art, explained why they chose the pieces, and tied their selections together with thematic titles.
"It was amazing to see some of these kids getting excited by thinking about how art communicates a message to other people, and really being creative with cool, exciting exhibition themes," said Armstrong.
One such exhibition exercise is pictured below. The student curators entitled their show "innocence" as their selection of works moved from simplistic shapes and colors to more intricate, challenging pieces.
[Photo by Becca Sickbert]
If you know a school interested in Arts Day programming or tours at the FAC, please contact the Bemis Art School office at 719.477.4345.